If you didn’t already know, Capita, a leading outsourcing provider in the UK was the latest business to fall victim to a cyber-attack that caused havoc in its Office 365 applications. Despite the fact that it would appear to be an isolated incident, it does call into question the relationships that it has with the NHS and UK military.
Fear levels increased amongst other businesses
Without question, the far reach of an outsourcing provider across many well-known brands and businesses has prompted increased levels of fear about this situation. At this stage, little is known about what sort of cyber-attack this was as it is only described as a technical issue in all Capita’s public statements.
Although, Capita did reveal that their communications were down for a significant period of time in addition to some internal network email accounts being unavailable. The major causes for concern were that some local government clients of the outsourcing service provider did experience significant downtime in their call centres across 4 London boroughs.
As well as the above, the outsourcing services provider helps to streamline operations for the NHS as well as the MoD and Royal Navy. A tip off from an anonymous source suggested that employees were having to use pen and paper to enable them to continue to communicate as a result of this cyber-attack. On the other hand, there are still some users that can access their computers in their entirety.
From the information revealed above, it would be safe to assume that Capita has suffered from a ransomware attack although this hasn’t yet been confirmed. The official stance is that they are currently investigating, however Capita have told various news outlets that it is likely to have been a cyber-attack. Also, at this moment in time, there hasn’t been any confirmations of stolen data posted on the dark web or by any associated hacking groups.
Cyber-attack struck in the early hours, causing a whole host of problems
Some reported that their phone systems were not working completely whereas other Capita employees could bring up their login screens, but their passwords didn’t work. These signs were reported around 4am but weren’t probably flagged up until 7am when employees came to work.
It goes without saying but the outsourcing services provider does work with various government functions that could be highlighted as part of vital infrastructure or critical to national defense, however again at this stage, there are no indications that these have been impacted by the cyber-attack.
Capita did come out and say that the main issue was the fact that users were unable to access Microsoft Office 365 applications which they were trying to get fully restored. The good news is that the cyber-attack was found and contained before it was able to gain access to the Azure active directories which could have given them access to individual user accounts. At this time, no client or personal data is known to have been compromised at the moment.
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